When to First Breed a Doeling?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by WildflowerFarm, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. WildflowerFarm

    WildflowerFarm New Member

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    We have two doelings that are 4 months old, (born in April,) and we are wondering when it would be best to breed them. We have heard opinions either to aim for kidding on their first birthday, or to breed at two years old. They weigh about 70 pounds right now. Does anyone have suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  2. dragonlair

    dragonlair New Member

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    It's mostly a personal choice. I prefer to breed them their first fall, in December or January. They usually kid at a little bit over a year. I aim for 90 to 100 pounds or 3/4 of their projected adult size.
     

  3. ConnieM

    ConnieM New Member

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    I didn't manage to get my first doe bred last year when she was ten months old. She has grown so much in the last year. I wonder of waiting until their second fall (about 16-18 months) isn't better.
     
  4. punchiepal

    punchiepal Member

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    For standard sized goats I aim for the 90-100# mark. Did one goat before that and glad I was there at delivery.
     
  5. LittleBits

    LittleBits New Member

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    I normally breed them to kid at 12-14 months for the first time. They should be at least 80lbs before you breed them. Mine are normally 75+lbs at 3 month, so they have no problem hitting 80lbs by the end of the year.
     
  6. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    I think the main important thing here us, do what your lines will allow you to do. Some goats have no problems being kidded out at just over a year and some do. Here are key factors I was told and have actually followed:

    Breed: Breed does determine size and weight. Know your breeds.

    Lines: Lines within certain breeds are heavy duty gals, some lines are skinny minnies, if you personally know your lines, then breed accordingly. If you do not then you better go by the breeders knowledge until you know your lines. If the breeder has not told you about any problems or doesn't give you a clue...go on your best knowledge of the animal. Some times this happens.

    Weight: not always something to go by BUT general rule is 90-100lbs.

    Easy Keeper status: Breed as soon as possible.

    Age: some breeds need longer to develop, some don't.

    Your Knowledge: What do you know about pregnancy? Kidding? Ever been through a train wreck? Those are all things you really want to know before waltzing into a younger doe kidding or a doe who is aged and never bred. Problems arise, if you have no experience find a breeder that will let you assist a couple of kiddings first :)


    Tam
     
  7. ladyliane

    ladyliane New Member

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    I personally will not breed before 18 months. The first year we had our herd, we bred our six does at around 90 lbs each at the breeder's suggestion. The vet checked them all a few weeks before kidding and said they were all in excellent condition. One does' baby was too large and caused her uterus to detach during labor--we lost both of them. (Apparently it is very rare for this to happen...). The next year, we allowed the yearlings to grow more....no issues when they gave birth the following year, or the next year. But last year, I thought one of our does looked big enough and took a chance. She had a traumatic breech birth, where we thought we would lose her. Thankfully everything turned out okay, but after that, we decided no more breeding until 18 months. This is a personal decision for each breeder. We know complications can happen in all ages, but, for us, they seem to happen more with the younger doelings and it's not worth the risk...
     
  8. WildflowerFarm

    WildflowerFarm New Member

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    Thank you all for the ideas! Last year we tried breeding our 7 month old doeling (Bluebell,) but for whatever reason, she didn't stick. So we have actually never done a first freshener birth:) Tam, do you find that there is an increased risk of 'train wrecks' with young does? The ideas that we have heard are, one, that an early freshening causes better milking capacity, (due to the body's early learning to convert feed to milk rather than to fat,) ant two, that young does do not 'stick' as well. We would like the girls to start producing for us, but we REALLY do not want to put them through a train wreck. We've seen 2 too many of those!
     
  9. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    Well I would refer back to breed and lines. I cannot say what YOU should do :) In my herd I have 2 Feb doelings that will be bred by 10 months. Their dams , granddams, and sires all have one thing in common...EASY keepers. We have 2 dry yearlings that will get bred this fall, they will be more like a year and a half, Dam and other relatives take longer to mature, are not very easy keepers and need more time. All are Nubian. I have one alpine dry yearling here that though met weight, has lineage issues with early breeding. See why its a very personal decision? Not necessarily with personal as in human but personal as in animal personal. I even have blood lines in Boers that are different, we treat those does differently.

    I have NOT found age to be a determining factor in train wrecks. I have found that even a 2 yr old ff can train wreck for no apparent reason, plenty of room all over. When someone scientifically finds out why a doe train wrecks I will take more stock in it. What I have found in train wrecks is you can save all, you can save some, and you can save none but all in all you better know how to go in and fish out kids if you are to continue in goats as it will happen. If you do not you will lose does. Then you need to know how to flush them out.
    Tam
     
  10. WildflowerFarm

    WildflowerFarm New Member

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    The farm that we bought the doelings from *always* breeds early, so I *guess* that their lines have done well with it. I'm thinking about breeding them in December or January at 8 or 9 months. Thank you all!;)
     
  11. dragonlair

    dragonlair New Member

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    I have never had a train wreck kidding on my young FF and I've had goats for 30+ years. Most of the train wrecks in my herd are older does, herd queens or those close behind her, who bully their way into eating way more feed than allowed. Problems stopped when I continued feeding each doe on the milk stand instead of in a group when dry.

    One thing I do make sure is if a buck throws huge kids. Some bucks just tend to sire huge kids no matter what you do for the doe. I would never breed a buck with that history to a FF, no matter the age. Boer bucks can have that problem also. Some always sire kids with huge hips or shoulders that get "locked" during birth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  12. WildflowerFarm

    WildflowerFarm New Member

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    Interesting. I'll have to ask if the buck we'll be using has a history of "big babies." :) We have had 2 train wrecks, one with, yes, our older herd queen, and the other was hypocalcimia. :sniffle Needless to say, we are praying that everything goes well this spring!!!
     
  13. rosie

    rosie New Member

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    There as many opinions on what age to breed a doe as there are does. I breed does at the very youngest 14 months, usually 18 months. They seem more mature and "ready" for kids. They have a bigger body capacity and if they are carrying triplets that is a good thing. But each breeder has there own reasons/opinions so see what works best for you. I have raised Nubians for 25 years and never reall had any kidding problems. We have never lost one yet, Thank Goodness.
     
  14. lovinglife

    lovinglife New Member

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    I like to breed the first year. I try to keep only lines that will support that.